Spotlight: Cover Love

Where do we start with covers? Guess the first step is to let NY Post take care of the big ones. Then, how about an exercise in connections, like Dirty Beaches to Johnny CashCash to Nine Inch NailsReznor & Karen O to Zeppelin. Or Warpaint to BowieBowie to NirvanaNirvana to Titus Andronicus (and check that SPIN tribute album to Nevermind, which sees The Vaselines and Meat Puppets returning the gesture). Okay, moving on (before we try a Talking Heads one), let’s narrow this down to some fresh selects.

[BoxTitle]Real Estate “Barely Legal” (The Strokes)[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos]

Put on landmark album Is This It and you’ll likely go right back to some coming of age moment at the start of last decade. The angst-fueled brattiness of songs like “Barely Legal” have aged exceptionally well, and now come with a tint of nostalgia. Enter Real Estate, nostalgia specialists. The New Jersey band rendered this warmer, good-times take as part of a Stereogum curated tribute compilation, and the fan-made clip above applies its vibes to young love, which works exceptionally well too.

[BoxTitle]Noah Wall “Mind Games” (John Lennon)[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos]

Lennon is certainly sacred territory, and staying too true to his arrangements in a cover is almost guaranteed to underwhelm, which is what makes this variation from rising artist Noah Wall so unique. It acts more as an anti-cover, spiraling the existing framework and lyrical ideas into an entirely different headspace. And its accompanying memory tunnel visuals officially declare this one something all its own.

[BoxTitle]Greatest Hits “Ten Little Indians” (Harry Nilsson)[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos]

One of the more unlikely covers in recent memory, Brooklyn mutant-pop duo Greatest Hits find the psychotic edge in this 1967 Nillson classic and expose it to explosive effect. The video is just your standard apocalyptic day at the museum.

[BoxTitle]HEALTH “Goth Star” (Pictureplane)[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos]

This Fleetwood Mac-warping single was a mystical behemoth to begin with when Pictureplane dropped it in 2009, and now under his former tourmate’s grasp, “Gosh Star” gets even more ferocious. HEALTH is known for noise, and instead of running this one through heaps of it, they keep the original glittery groove mostly intact, while raising the pulse in all the right places.

[BoxTitle]James Blake “A Case of You” (Joni Mitchell)[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideos][/MusicVideos]

The man that can do no wrong in 2011, takes on Joni Mitchell’s legendary Blue love song on a BBC radio show, and leaves everyone (including the host) speechless.

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